The story appears on

Page C5

March 3, 2010

GET this page in PDF

Free for subscribers

View shopping cart

Related News

Home » Feature

Shanghai Postal Museum delivers

THE history of development of China's mail services is depicted in early messaging techniques and ancient stamps at a museum in a landmark building that was once the General Post Office.

The little-known Shanghai Postal Museum is well worth a visit, not only for the fascinating information about postal service, but also for the landmark building itself, with a spectacular atrium and a roof garden offering breathtaking views.

The classical-style, four-story building has a remarkable clock tower in the baroque style, featuring bronze statuary.

Built from 1922 to 1924 and designed by Stewardson & Spence, the building once housed the General Post Office.

This national historical site, considered one of China's most outstanding contemporary buildings, is on the bank of Suzhou Creek at the north end of the Sichuan Road Bridge, not far from the clothes market on Qipu Road.

It housed the headquarters of Shanghai Postal Administration until 2003 when it was converted to the museum.

The exhibition area on the second floor covers the development of the postal service from ancient times and features a wide collection of precious stamps.

The four exhibition sections include origins and development, network and technology, service and culture, and stamps.

It displays historical relics dating back to the Wei (AD 220-265) of the Three Kingdoms Period (AD 220-280) and Jin Dynasty (AD 265-420) and includes pictures, models and multimedia shows.

In the first section, a multimedia show recreates a scene of people passing on urgent messages by lighting signal fires in ancient times. Beacon towers in military fortresses were used to relay information and the screen shows signal fires burning at night, sending up heavy smoke.

A message on March 20, 1896, suggesting creation of the China Imperial Post, was sent for approval of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

That date is considerd the official birth of the modern postal service in China. A mailbox bears the words "Chinese Imperial Post" and a carved dragon coils up the supporting post.

The second section - network and technology - depicts a snow mountain, indicating that the Shanghai Postal Service once reached the South and North Poles.

A short film shows the development of the postal service from the earliest postal stations to modern post offices.

Important stamps of the world are exhibited in the fourth section, including a heart-shaped stamp from France, a triangular stamp from China, Poland's silk stamp and Switzerland's wooden stamp.

The exhibits include postage stamps of the customs post of the Qing Dynasty, including the Small Dragon Issue and Empress Dowager Issue, China's first set of commemorative stamps.

The Treasure Stamps Hall features rare precious stamps, some linked with important events, some issued for only a short period, some surviving natural disasters and accidents.

The large, bright courtyard on the ground floor features replicas of mail vehicles, including a carriage used in the Qing Dynasty, the first mail car purchased in 1917, the first regular aircraft for air mail and the first mail train.

The Future Cinema depicts the future postal world and allows visitors to take part in the film.

The roof garden, a pleasant way to end a tour, offers spectacular views of Suzhou Creek, Pudong, the Bund and beyond.

The ornate clock tower can be appreciated from the roof garden, a pleasant place to relax.

The tower features two groups of sculptures. One shows three people holding an early locomotive, steam ship and telecommunications cable. The other features Greek god Hermes, the messenger, at the center with Aphrodite and Eros on his side.

Open: Wednesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays-Sundays, 9am-5pm (No admission after 4pm)

Address: 250 North Suzhou Rd

Admission: 8 yuan

How to get there: Buses No. 14, 17, 19, 21, 25, 65, 66, 220, 928, 939; Sightseeing Bus Line 10

Tel: 6362-9898


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend